Friday, November 29, 2019

How to show progress in a demo

We've been talking about embu lately - how to do a good demo - a demo that does several things, including
  • shows that the student knows some things - "Wow! That guy is really good at this!"
  • shows that the student is improving - "Wow! That guy is a lot better than last time!"
  • creates social validity for the school - "Wow! Mokuren Dojo is really good at this!"
  • creates self-confidence in the student - "Wow! I'm really good at this!"
One way that you can do this is to clearly demonstrate longitudinal improvement.  That is, the demo should contain at least some material that is repeated in all demos.  That way, it is easy to see that you are better (or at least different) than you were 6 months ago when you demonstrated this same material.
You don't want to repeat a LOT of material every time because that is a recipe for boring the joseki to sleep, but you should at least show some repeated material.
What I'm thinking about for this is to have all rank embu start with koshiki kihon (a short, somewhat casual exercise where you demonstrate 21 falls in about 3 minutes) and the clock exercise (1-2 minutes where you demonstrate moving into and between various groundwork positions).
By having everyone demonstrate these at every level, it provides a sort of baseline against which improvements will be obvious.

Here is a video of a guy doing a clock exercise in a little different way than we usually do - but you get the idea of what I'm talking about.

Want to discuss this blog post?
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Patrick Parker
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